05 July 2010

prove it!

There's a sort of philosophical rhetoric that comes out of the "is it an orange, or just a perception" kind of logic that, taken to its logical conclusion, defeats the existence of all reality. It's a common refrain by some to attempt to refute scientific explanations of natural phenomenon for example.

But it's much more commonly used to attack positions that are less defined by scientific knowledge and empiricism. Like the position and relative certainty of atheism. I'm pretty sure the sun will come up tomorrow, I'm pretty sure the Earth and human civilization won't be destroyed by a comet or a meteor this week, I'm pretty sure I'm seated in a chair typing this out, and I'm pretty sure there is no god needed to explain the universe. The reason I'm pretty sure is that we've blamed a lot of stuff on god(s) before. And what it ended up being was personifying natural forces like wind and rain or more complex ones like air, gravity, or sound and light waves. Or just completely ignoring those all together.

If you want to tell me a story, the short version is don't use metaphysics of existence to try to prove it to me. Because, almost by definition, you won't be able to use that line of argument to prove anything to yourself either.
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